11-99 Foundation

What do you get for the person who has it all? Gift cards are impersonal, cuff links are even more obvious, but what if you could buy a get-out-of-jail-free card? For the starting price of $2,500, Californians reportedly may be able to do the next best thing. An 11-99 Foundation Membership gets you into an organization whose goal is to support families of California Highway Patrol officers in times of crisis or hardship. (In police language, “11-99” is radio code for “officer needs assistance.”) The donation is certainly for a noble cause, but it also comes with a perk in the form of a highly coveted license plate holder. The frames are serialized, cannot be bought on their own and have inspired numerous knockoffs that can be bought online for anywhere between $200 and $1,000. Officers deny any kind of favoritism for members, but the displayed status has been called “a license to speed” as well as “purchasing leniency” in several articles and on many online forums.

Kasia Pawlowska

Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is never-ending.